Education creates greater opportunity for economic and social choice. The educational opportunities of children and young people are affected by a range of factors including poor levels of self-esteem and physical activity. Future life chances and health are directly linked to educational attainment.

This topic is most closely related to the following topics:


Last updated: 2013-06-20 15:21:31
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1. What are the key issues?

Education outcomes for children are poorest where poverty rates are highest.
All agencies working with pre-school children should be working towards improving “school readiness”. This means making sure that young children have:

  • the basic social and emotional skills to progress in speech, perception, ability to understand numbers and quantities, motor skills, attitude to work, concentration, memory and social conduct;
  • the ability to engage positively and without aggression with children; and
  • the ability to respond appropriately to requests from teachers.

The percentage of the working population with no qualifications is higher than the national average and the percentage with qualifications up to and including level 4 is lower than national benchmarks.

The development of communication, language and literacy skills is a concern at all key stages, especially for boys. This has an impact on attainment at Key Stages 2 and 4, which include achievement of expected levels in both English and maths.

Despite good upward trends in achievement in the long-term, outcomes remain well below national averages, with 6 out of 7 headline indicators appearing in the bottom quartile nationally.

  • In the 2011 results, performance in English largely held its position whilst maths results showed a marked decline.
  • Headline Key Stage 2 results show a 5-year downward trend.
  • Despite the fall in performance in 2011 for 5+ A*-C grade GCSEs including English and maths, the 5-year trend is showing an 8.7% improvement, from 31.9% to 40.6%.
  • The gap between Middlesbrough’s GCSE headline pass rate and the Tees Valley average has grown from 8% to 14% over the past 5 years,
  • The relative performance of vulnerable groups of pupils against overall performance is much better than the headline performance, with the majority of key indicators appearing within the top two quartiles nationally.
  • The Department for Education (DfE) floor targets are increasing their thresholds in both of the next two years, which will widen the performance gap further.

Young people generally have good perceptions about education provision and have positive attitudes and aspirations about their futures.

Underachievement in both English and maths at GCSE level is a major barrier to progression for school leavers in Middlesbrough.

Of all the people who will make up the workforce in 2020 (that is, those aged 16-64 and in employment at that time), over 80% of have already left formal education.

The changing relationship between schools and local authority services involves increasing autonomy for schools and the changes in responsibilities for the provision and/or procurement for some key services. It is essential that all parties work together to ensure that young people, and particularly vulnerable young people, do not lose the support available to them during the transition period.


Last updated: 18/06/13

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

Develop early intervention strategies to tackle the barriers to learning
identified for behaviour, attendance, literacy and numeracy and monitor their effectiveness. More specifically, monitor the fall in maths results in 2011 to identify whether this is an emerging trend.

Maintain literacy development as the central theme for education improvement
to unlock learning for all children.

Improve the identification of the needs of young people
who require additional support for their education provision.

Develop support programmes to help the workforce to acquire the skills needed
in a rapidly changing labour market to remain in, and progress in, work.

Develop initiatives to raise the aspirations of young people and adults to enter higher education
and develop flexible pathways to higher education, with a focus on increasing the work done with younger children.

Ensure that strong arrangements are in place to support looked after children
to continue their education and training as they make the transition to adulthood.


Last updated: 18/06/13

3. Who is at risk and why?

Adults with few or no qualifications are at a disadvantage when it comes to returning to and remaining in the labour market.

Adults in the criminal justice system are more likely to have a poor school history and poor educational attainment.

Boys typically achieve less than girls at all stages of their learning.

Socioeconomic status
Children from poorer backgrounds are much less likely to experience a good home learning environment, which is very important for children’s early educational development.

The achievement gap for poorer children widens particularly quickly during primary school, being affected by low parental aspirations; how far parents and children believe their own actions can affect their lives; and behavioural problems.

The pattern of under-achievement is harder to reverse by the teenage years, but disadvantage and poor school results continue to be linked, including through low expectations for higher education; a lack of material resources; engagement in anti-social behaviour; and young people’s belief in their own ability at school.
Research shows that cognitive skills are passed from parents to children.

Children from black or minority ethnic groups may require additional support to improve their English language skills to enable them to engage with areas of the curriculum adequately.

Special educational needs
A physical or learning disability might require additional support, either on a group or individual basis, to ensure attendance at school.

Looked after children
Chaotic and traumatic life experiences can mean that children in the care of the local authority do not achieve key learning outcomes within the same timescale as their peers.

Nearly half (49%) of male, sentenced prisoners were excluded from school compared with 2% in the general population.  More than half of male prisoners (52%) and 71% of female prisoners have no qualifications, with 65% having numeracy ability less than an average 11-year-old and 48% with a reading ability less than an 11-year-old.  One in ten prisoners has a learning disability.  At any one time, only one-third of prisoners have access to education (Natale, 2010).  See the offenders topic for further details.


Last updated: 18/06/13

4. What is the level of need in the population?

Key issues

  • Attainment at age 11 is similar to England, but by age 16 tends to be below England.
  • Secondary school attendance is lower than England.
  • Too many young people aged 16 to 18 years are not in education, employment or training.

Primary schools
Primary schools in Middlesbrough have levels of attainment below or similar to England.  In 2012, 75% of children achieved level four or above at key stage 2, compared with 79% in England.
Key stage 2 trend, Tees, 2008 to 2012

Of the 45 primary schools in Middlesbrough, in 2012, there were 22 where not enough children made 2 levels of progress between key stage 1 and key stage 2 for English, and 21 schools where not enough progress was made in maths.

Attendance at primary schools in Middlesbrough is worse than England; 4.4% of children were persistently absent from primary school, missing more than 15% of their education, compared with 3.4% nationally.  Overall absence in Middlesbrough was 4.8% of half-days missed, compared with 4.4% in England.

Secondary schools
Secondary schools in Middlesbrough have levels of attainment below England.  In 2012, 47.6% of children achieved 5 or more GCSEs grade A*-C including English and maths, compared with 59.4% in England.  The gap between Middlesbrough and England narrowed from 15.7% in 2005 to 11.8% in 2012. In 2012, only one academy failed to meet the floor standard for this measure of 35%.

5+ GCSEs inc English and maths, Tees, 2005 to 2012

Of seven secondary schools in Middlesbrough, in 2012, there were 6 where not enough children made 3 levels of progress between key stage 2 and key stage 4 for English, and 7 schools where not enough progress was made in maths.

Overall absence (both authorised and unauthorised) from secondary schools in Middlesbrough is above the England rate.  A higher proportion of children than seen nationally are persistently absent, with more than ten percent of secondary school pupils in Middlesbrough missing over 15% of their education.  Middlesbrough has a rate of permanent exclusions similar to national levels and rates of fixed-term exclusion are higher than national averages.

Pupil absence from secondary schools, Tees, 2012

Middlesbrough has a higher rate of pupils with special educational needs compared with England.  It has the highest rate of pupils who don’t have English as a first language in Tees Valley, but below the England average. Nearly half of pupils are eligible for free school meals, almost double the England rate.

Special educational needs, non-English forst language, free school meals, Tees, 2012

Vulnerable groups

The importance of narrowing the gap in performance between vulnerable groups and all other pupils is underlined by a key national initiative which provides schools with finance, in the form of a Pupil Premium, to address these issues.

Free school meals
The performance gaps between pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers widened in 2011, putting Middlesbrough in the bottom quartile nationally.

Achievement gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers, Middlesbrough, 2011

Key Stage 2


Key Stage 4


Source: Middlesbrough Borough Council


By age 19 years, the achievement gaps for young people who were eligible for FSM at age 16 have improved significantly. For the achievement of a Level 2 qualification, the gap was 17% in 2010 compared with 20% nationally.  For a Level 3 qualification, the performance gap has been steady at 22% in Middlesbrough for the last three years compared with 24% nationally in 2010.

Black and minority ethnic groups
Official performance statistics for black and minority ethnic (BME) groups apply a minimum cohort size to ensure the robustness of the comparisons being made. In Middlesbrough, the significant BME group is pupils of Pakistani origin who do relatively well in comparison with national performance gaps, appearing in the top quartile for both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 in 2011.

Attainment gap for Black and minority ethnic groups, Middlesbrough, 2011

Key Stage 2


Key Stage 4


Source: Middlesbrough Borough Council


In Key Stage 2, Pakistani pupils perform slightly below the local average for all other pupils, but at Key Stage 4 they have consistently outperformed all other pupils.

Special educational needs
In Middlesbrough, 20% of pupils have special education need (SEN), which is in line with national and regional averages.  The proportion of pupils with a higher level of SEN (a statement or School Action Plus) increases with age during primary school from 5.2% in Reception to 16.4% in Year 6, before settling to consistently around 13% across the secondary school year groups.

The proportion of boys with a higher level of SEN is significantly higher than for girls for all year groups. The gap is highest in Year 6 (9.4% of girls compared to 23.2% of boys) and decreases in secondary schools to around 10%, which is largely due to reductions in SEN levels amongst boys.

Within Middlesbrough, almost one in four school-age children living in the East locality have identified SEN compared with one in five across the whole of Middlesbrough.

Academic achievement for pupils with SEN is significantly lower than the average for all pupils, which is reflected in the additional support packages provided for individual pupils. Local performance gaps showed some improvement in 2011 and appeared in the top half of local authorities nationally.

The Special Educational Needs (SEN)/non-SEN gap, Middlesbrough, 2011

Achieving Key Stage 2 English and Maths threshold


Achieving 5+ A*- C GCSEs incl. English and Maths


Source: Middlesbrough Borough Council


Young people not in education, employment and training (NEET)
Middlesbrough has a high proportion of young people not in education, employment and training.  The rate is nearly twice the England average and higher than the North East and Hull (a comparable area).

people age 16-18 not in employment, education or training, Middlesbrough, 2011

Girls typically outperform boys at all key stages:

  • Despite showing some improvement in 2011, boys score below girls on each of the 13 scales of the Foundation Stage Profile, with communication, language and literacy (CLL) a particular area of weakness.
  • The gender gap widened further in each subject in KS1 in 2011
  • Almost one-quarter of boys did not achieve Level 4 in reading at KS2 in 2011 and more than one-third did not achieve Level 4 in writing.
  • Boys outperformed girls in maths at KS2 in 2011, which contributed to 66% of boys achieving Level 4+ in English and maths and closing the gap from 9% to 3%.
  • 44% of girls achieved 5 or more GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths, compared with 38% of boys. This represents a 3% and 4% reduction respectively year on year.

The long-term serious issue has been boys’ poor performance in the language and literacy elements of the national key stage tests.

Teenage girls who become pregnant may not receive the full benefit of education.  The sexual health JSNA topic has details of teenage pregnancies.

Looked after children
The number of the looked after children (LAC) sitting end of key stage tests is typically very small but it can vary significantly from one year to the next, producing seemingly dramatic swings in performance. The performance gaps in 2011 were relatively good for Key Stage 2, where Middlesbrough performed in the top half of all local authorities but was relatively poor in Key Stage 4 where GCSE results for LAC appeared in the bottom quartile.

Attainment of looked after children, Middlesbrough, 2011

Level 4 or above in English at Key Stage 2


Level 4 or above in maths at Key Stage 2


5 or more A*-C GCSEs including English and maths (or equivalent) at Key Stage 4


Source: Middlesbrough Borough Council


The critical issue for LAC is the on-going support provided for the leaving care process as they make the transition into adulthood and from school into further education, employment or training.

Behaviour and attendance
Middlesbrough has historically reported low levels of permanent exclusions from school. In 2010/11 there were just 7 permanent exclusions, equivalent to 0.04% of the school population.

The number of fixed-term exclusions shows significant volatility between years, falling from 1,735 in 2009/10 to 924 in 2010/11. Boys account for almost 80% of fixed term exclusions; the gender split has remained broadly the same over the past five years.

Secondary school pupils account for 87% of fixed-term exclusions. The proportion of primary school pupils being excluded is small but it has doubled in the past three years.

Analysis shows a clear link between non-attendance and achievement, with attendance below 85% presenting a significant risk to pupils’ performance. Poor school attendance is also a significant risk factor for poor outcomes in other aspects of young people’s lives, particularly for risk-taking behaviour and involvement in anti-social behaviour and crime.

Primary school attendance levels have been consistent over the last three years, standing at 94.3% in the 2010/11 academic year compared with a national average of 94.9%. Unauthorised absence is significantly higher than the national average, 1.1% compared with 0.7% nationally. The proportion of pupils missing 15% of school sessions or more (persistent absence) is also significantly higher at 6.5% compared with 5.2% nationally.

Attendance in secondary schools was 90.3% in 2010/11 compared with 93.5% nationally. Unauthorised absence presents a particular problem for secondary schools, having risen to 4.5% in 2010/11 compared with 1.4% nationally. Persistent absence at 14.7% is significantly higher than the national average of 9.5%.

School standards
In primary schools, Middlesbrough has a similar distribution of Ofsted judgements to that seen nationally.  For secondary schools there is a higher proportion of schools  that are satisfactory / requiring improvement and inadequate.

Ofsted judgement, primary schools, Tees Valley, 2012

Ofsted judgement, secondary schools, Tees Valley

Post-16 provision
The Annual Activity Summary completed in September 2011 indicated that 90.3% of Year 11 school leavers progressed on to a full-time education, training or employment placement that included a recognised, formal learning element.

The proportion of 16 and 17 year-olds in full-time, post-16 education provision appears to have increased from 63% to 70% between 2005 and 2009, but the number of students has remained at 3,300.  Across the North East, the proportion in full-time education increased from 63% to 74% over the same period. The proportion of young people in education and work-based learning in Middlesbrough has increased from 78% to 85%, mirroring the regional rate of improvement.

Achievement at age 18 is significantly lower than comparator averages, with 85% of students achieving 2 or more passes of A Level equivalent compared with 90% across the North East and 92% nationally.

Average QCDA point score by students achieving all Level 3 qualifications


per student

per exam entry




North East







57% of the students entered for 3 or more A-level or equivalent qualifications are girls and girls score significantly better than boys on average points scored per student and per entry. However, the proportion of students achieving 2 or more passes is roughly the same for boys and girls, and 4.9% of boys achieve 3 or more A*/A grades compared with 3.3% of girls.

Achievement of a Level 2 qualification by the age of 19 has improved significantly over the last five years, rising from 60.1% in 2006 to 72.4% in 2010. Local performance remains approximately 6% below the regional average, but the gap between Middlesbrough and the national average has reduced from 9% to 7%. The pattern for achievement of a Level 3 qualification by the age of 19 is similar, improving from 32.9% in 2006 to 41.5% in 2010, improving by almost 4% in 2010. Current performance is 6% below the regional average and 11% below the national average.

Access to higher education
In Middlesbrough, 21% of residents are educated to degree level or better (Level 4) compared with 30% for England. In the Tees Valley, 81% of the working-age population with Level 4 qualifications are in work compared with just 33% of those with no qualifications.

University tuition fees increased significantly for the 2012/13 academic year and funding for ‘Aim Higher’ and other programmes designed to raise the aspirations of young people and promote access to higher education have ceased.

Adult learners
In Tees Valley, 13.9% of 16-64 year-olds have no qualifications compared with 11.3% nationally. The effect of having low or no skills is reflected in the fact that Middlesbrough has the third highest rate of claimant count unemployment (7.5%) in the country. Middlesbrough has relatively high proportions of residents with poor numeracy (63% compared with 47% nationally) and poor literacy (21% compared with 11% nationally) skills.

Working age population with no qualifications, Tees, 2011

Adult offenders
Of all prisoners in Teesside, 40% are from Middlesbrough homes, although there are no prisons in the town. This results in a large group of people who need support when they leave the criminal justice system, many of whom have very low basic skill levels and/or a learning difficulty. Local post-16 providers have enabled people to study with them on release from prison in the past. The service had participated in a project to offer guidance and basic skills to people on probation and has been highly commended by OFSTED for its work in this project.

Non-English speaking adults
The UK workforce has 13% migrants, many of whom experience difficulties in finding jobs in the UK and in exercising their employment rights at work. The BME population in Middlesbrough continues to grow, with small but significant groups of Eastern European migrants adding to the diversity in local communities in recent years.

In the first half of 2011/12, Middlesbrough’s Community Learning service had 400 learners taking part in, or waiting for a place on, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course. This compared with 350 learners for all of 2010/11.  The service is reporting increased demand from the Job Centre, which is looking for 15 hours tuition for its clients who are fully funded as part of the support package to get them into employment. The 25-40 year-old age group now accounts for 60% of the service’s client base, whilst the proportion of students aged 50+ has reduced.

At the same time, the service has seen a reduction in the numbers of asylum seekers taking up places as funding changes have meant that this group now have to meet their own tuition costs until they receive leave to remain in the country. In many cases, students from both groups are starting with English language skills that are below the level of the entry course and they are often illiterate in their first language.

In line with the general pattern of small scale growth for some groups in the BME population, the Community Learning service has seen the proportion of its ESOL students describing themselves as “white” increase from 10% to 17% in the last two years. At the same time, the proportion of students from a Pakistani background has reduced from 27% to 21%.

Health literacy
A person’s health literacy relates to their ability to seek, use and understand health information, which can have a significant impact on their ability to participate in their own healthcare.

Given the low levels of literacy and numeracy highlighted above, it is highly likely that local levels of health literacy are similarly low. For many people low health literacy acts as a significant barrier to achieving and maintaining good health and research indicates that people with low health literacy are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience poor health.

Given the high levels of health inequality evident locally for major health risks and serious conditions, improving health literacy will be an essential building block for prevention, self-care, caring for and managing long-term conditions, access to services and achieving better health.


Last updated: 11/01/16

5. What services are currently provided?

In Middlesbrough, 98% of 3 and 4-year-old children benefit from early education places compared with 96% nationally. A high proportion (92%) of 3 and 4-year-olds in free early education places attend local authority maintained provision but there is a range of options for parents.

Early education providers, Middlesbrough


No. of Providers



Home Childcarers


Out of School Care


Holiday Care


Day Nurseries






Parent & Toddler


Source: Middlesbrough Council


There are 45 primary schools and 7 secondary schools in Middlesbrough in the maintained sector. In addition to mainstream education places, these schools also provide dedicated support for children with a range of special education needs within a mainstream setting.

Mainstream supported places for children with special educational needs, Middlesbrough


Primary Schools

Secondary Schools


Infant Assessment




Moderate Learning Difficulty




Autistic Spectrum Disorder




Hearing Impaired




Visually Impaired




Physical Disability




Speech, Language & Communication Need




Source: Middlesbrough Council


In addition to the provision within mainstream schools, there are:

  • 4 special schools providing places for approximately 400 children with disabilities or learning difficulties;
  • The Cleveland Unit infant assessment centre on the site of the James Cook Hospital; and,
  • 3 Pupil Referral Units providing fixed-term and long-term support for approximately 150 pupils with behavioural needs.

A number of institutions make a variety of post-16 provision available locally.

Post-16 education provision, Middlesbrough



No. of students

aged 16-18

Cleveland College of Art and Design

Art, Design and Performing Art College


The King's Academy

City Academy


Macmillan Academy

City Academy


Middlesbrough College

Tertiary College


St Mary's College

Sixth Form College



Total Places



Teesside University is based in Middlesbrough and provides a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses.  It has about 11,500 full-time students and a further 17,000 part-time students.

Publicly funded skills and learning opportunities for the working age population in the form of further education, work-based learning and apprenticeship provision are delivered by a range of work-based learning providers, Further Education Colleges and Middlesbrough Council’s Community Learning Service. Provision is funded through the Skills Funding Agency and Jobcentre Plus. Other provision is available from community and voluntary organisations, through employers’ training programmes and through independent providers.

The School Improvement team has developed plans to support identified primary schools to improve outcomes at Key Stages 1 and 2 for 2012.

A further three secondary schools have now engaged with PiXL to focus support on improving outcomes at Key Stages 3 and 4.

A Vulnerable Learners Strategy is currently being developed in parallel with the special educational needs (SEN) Green paper, the re-structure of local SEN teams and in line with the financial resources available.

Literacy development is established as the central theme for education improvement to unlock learning for all children and is driving activity, including practitioner networks to champion literacy and build on existing good practice and secondary school practitioners visiting primary schools to share effective practice.

Middlesbrough’s Community Learning Service helps improve people’s employability through Skills for Life, employability programmes and sector-specific qualifications based on local demand. It also seeks to engage or re-engage people in learning through a range of short leisure and skills-based programmes.

The Community Learning Service has historically been the main player in community provision of English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) courses in Middlesbrough. The change to ‘fully funded’ status for Job Centre clients has resulted in a more competitive environment, with other providers, including the local colleges, moving to set up community-based ESOL provision.

A wide range of certificate and diploma courses, foundation degrees, BTeC Higher National Certificate/Diploma courses and vocational degree pathways have been developed locally to ease vocational entry into higher education.

The Higher Education Business Partnership (HEBP), operated by Teesside University and the Tees Valley further education colleges, provides access to a broad and growing range of vocational and professional higher education courses accredited by the university.

The government’s Troubled Families programme includes school attendance and exclusion as triggers for co-ordinated early intervention support for families where attendance and behaviour at school is an identified issue.

The Community Learning Service provides support to learners who have physical and/or learning challenges and offers access to a learning support co-ordinator who ensures that the support is continuous during their studies. This includes equipment aids, computer adaptations, physical adaptations where practicable. Five percent of the learners using the service have a declared disability.


Last updated: 18/06/13

6. What is the projected level of need?

Some of the key vulnerable groups identified are growing significantly:

  • Whilst the overall percentage of children living in poverty has remained at around 34% for the last three years, the actual number of children living in poverty has continued to grow by 1% or about 120 children per year;
  • The BME population within schools has been growing consistently at 1% per year and is highest in the youngest age groups. BME groups tend to be concentrated in a relatively small number of schools and the composition of this population is changing, which presents schools with different challenges; and,
  • The number of looked after children in Middlesbrough continues rise, having increased by over 13% in the last two years. Within this cohort, more and more young people are presenting multiple and complex needs.

Despite sustained and significant reductions, Middlesbrough’s rate of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) has consistently been significantly higher than the national average. The economic downturn, rising adult unemployment and poor resilience in the local economy are all likely to make it harder for young people to secure employment, increasing the numbers of young people needing help and support to improve their skills and experience.

The national further education budget for adults will reduce by 25% in real terms over the period to 2014/15. The government is seeking to change the statutory entitlement to fully funded provision to introduce loans for those aged 24+ seeking a first or subsequent Level 3 qualification or any Level 4 qualification.

The number of 18-64 year olds in Middlesbrough with a learning disability is predicted to fall from 2,082 in 2009 to 1,871 in 2030. This represents a decrease of 10%.

Further decline in net employment levels is likely in traditional manufacturing industries but as the ageing workforce retires there will be demand for ‘replacement’ jobs in the process industries, metals and retailing, which is also expected to grow as a sector. The changing make-up of the jobs market will continue to require different skills and retraining of the workforce.


Last updated: 18/06/13

7. What needs might be unmet?

Immigrant groups
A number of relatively small transient immigrant groups appear amongst the local population of school-age children, which have been loosely grouped together into two broad categories - Middle Eastern and Eastern European. Whilst the numbers of children in these groups do not appear to be growing significantly, they are concentrated in a small number of schools and the rate of turnover within these groups from one year to the next is very high, presenting a particular problem for the schools involved. The majority of the children in these groups are of primary school age, which means their English language skills may not be strong enough when they start at school to enable them to fully participate in and benefit from their time in school. Additional, specialist support resources may be beneficial for these groups of children and the schools they attend.

Pregnant teenagers and teenage parents
Young people who are the most likely to become teenage parents are already very likely to be at risk of achieving the poorest outcomes by the time they leave school.  Early pregnancy and parenthood can have a further, detrimental impact on young people’s education and subsequent employment opportunities. Planning and delivering the sorts of flexible and accessible services that this group needs can be very difficult to achieve, making them one of the hardest to reach groups of young people.

Young carers
As a group of young people and individually, young carers tend to have very low visibility. Typically, school staff will not be aware of the caring burden being faced by the young carers attending their school. Being a young carer can be a hidden cause of poor attendance, under achievement and bullying, with many young carers dropping out of school or achieving no qualifications.

Traveller children
The nature of the travellers’ lifestyle can present particular difficulties for traveller children in terms of continuity in their education. Whilst services try to work around established patterns of family movement by holding school places for children as they move between home locations, older traveller children may struggle to match subject and syllabus choices across schools in different locations.


Last updated: 18/06/13

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

The Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit (Higgins el at, 2013) is an accessible summary of educational research which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.  The Toolkit covers 30 topics, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost.  It highlights feedback; meta-cognition and self-regulation; peer tutoring; and early years intervention as the top four evidence-based interventions.

The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO) provides a range of products and support services to improve outcomes.  Excellence in local practice, combined with national research and data about 'what works' is being gathered in one place.

Ofsted provides Our expert knowledge, a resource that brings together expert knowledge.  It includes survey reports and examples of good practice by both key stage and subject.


Last updated: 20/06/13

9. What do people say?

Young people are asked various questions about their time at school through the Annual Young People’s Survey. Their feedback suggests that the majority of young people enjoy their time at school.  In the 2010 survey:

  • 77% of respondents at primary school said they liked being at school, compared to 86% at secondary school.
  • 78% of children in primary schools and 79% in secondary schools thought that lessons were interesting and fun.
  • 81% of primary school children and 86% of secondary school children said they were happy at school.

Young people also show that they are full of ambition and have high aspirations for the future and a strong desire to succeed:

  • 76% said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ go on to university in the future, which represents a 12% increase from 2007.

However, there is a significant gap between aspiration and achievement:

  • 88% of young people thought they would leave school with five or more good GCSE passes (A*-C), whilst the actual outcome for 2010 was 74%, and when English and maths are included this fell to 44%.




Last updated: 18/06/13

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

Detailed learning, employment and skills data for Middlesbrough is needed (rather than at a Tees Valley level only).

There needs to be better identification and assessment of the needs of hard to reach groups, including young carers, pregnant teenagers and teenage parents.

Whilst there is a strong focus on providing support for the education of children looked after by the local authority and on monitoring their progress, there is not a similar strategic focus for the educational progress of children who might be on the edge of care. For many of these children, their family circumstances may be having a significant negative impact on their engagement with education and the outcomes they are able to achieve.

A comprehensive needs assessment for young people aged 13-19 and the services that seek to work with them is required. The needs assessment should provide an up to date analysis of the key issues facing this age group and should help shape the responses required from local services.

Learning and skills provision within Middlesbrough does not cover all occupational areas, and further work is needed to understand how far this provision meets the needs of the area.


Last updated: 18/06/13

Key contact

Name: David David

Job title: Performance Manager, Wellbeing, Care & Learning


Phone number: 01642 728103



Local strategies and plans

Middlesbrough Children and Young People’s Trust (2011). Children and Young People’s Plan 2011-2014.

Middlesbrough Children and Young People’s Trust (2011). Middlesbrough Children’s Strategic Needs Assessment.


National strategies and plans

Department for Education (2010). The Importance of Teaching - The Schools White Paper 2010.

Department for Education (2012).  Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012.

Department for Education (2012).  Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Department for Education (2012).  Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - Progress and next steps.


Other references

Allen, G (2011). Early Intervention: The Next Steps - An Independent Report to Her Majesty’s Government.

Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO).

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2011). English indices of deprivation 2010.

Department for Education (2012d). School performance tables for Middlesbrough.

End Child Poverty (2012). Child Poverty Map of the UK, 2012.

Higgins, S., Katsipataki, M., Kokotsaki, D., et al. (2013). The Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit.

Natale, L (2010). CIVITAS Factsheet – Education in prisons.

The Social Exclusion Unit (2002). Reducing reoffending by ex-prisoners.